Posts Tagged ‘health’

A shot of snake blood makes the heart grow

Posted on October 27th 2011 in News with Comments Off on A shot of snake blood makes the heart grow

This article was written for New Scientist. You can read the full piece here.

Cancer diagnoses going viral

Posted on August 10th 2011 in Features with Comments Off on Cancer diagnoses going viral

A genetically modified virus that can make hidden tumours light up may lead to a new and more effective way of screening for cancer. Some cancers are helpful enough to give off obvious clues to their existence. Prostate cancer, for example, can be detected as it raises the levels of a protein called PSA in the blood. Many, however, leave no such trace. Sufferers of these diseases can, therefore, remain in the dark about their condition, delaying treatment and lowering their chances of survival. What if there were to artificially force these normally hidden cancerous growths into the light? A…

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Drug smuggling cells evade detection

Posted on June 17th 2011 in Blog with Comments Off on Drug smuggling cells evade detection

Us humans are always looking for the easy way out. If we can get someone else to do our dirty work for us, so much the better, which is why drug dealers rely on mules to ship merchandise for them. One of the trickiest things to do in medical science is smuggling drugs or nanoprobes into the body to the specific area they are required. Many of these probes and drugs are considered foreign objects to the body, and as such will be removed by the body’s equivilent of a customs officer – the white blood cells. Many treatments are…

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Genetic modification of bacteria leads to new vaccine

Posted on February 26th 2011 in News with Comments Off on Genetic modification of bacteria leads to new vaccine

A new type of vaccine for pneumonia based on genetically engineered bacteria has been developed, and may help in the fight against many other infectious diseases. The vaccine, which protects against a virulent form of the bacterium Streptococcus pnuemoniae, works by introducing a modified form of the bacterium that produces less pneumolysin – a toxic protein that damages blood vessels in the lungs and interferes with the immune system. Researchers from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine identified the genetic sequence that codes for the pneumolysin protein and, using computer algorithms, created a modified gene which would decrease the amount…

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